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Friday, December 18, 2020

Vanderhoof leaves smarter, stronger payments sphere

The 2020 Payments Summit, held Feb. 24 to 27, in Salt Lake City, seemed a perfect setting for Randy Vanderhoof to announce his retirement after 18 years of leadership at the Secure Technology Alliance and U.S. Payments Forum. Addressing both associations, Vanderhoof said it was time to pass the torch to a new generation of payments leaders.

"My eighteen years as Executive Director of the Secure Technology Alliance (and Smart Card Alliance) and eight years as Director of the U.S. Payments Forum (and EMV Migration Forum) have been the most personally satisfying and professionally stimulating years of my life," Vanderhoof said in a statement. "At 62 years old and with a desire for spending less time at airports and meeting hotels and more time at my second home that people from New Jersey call the 'Jersey Shore,' I determined it was the right time for me to begin to transition away from the full-time demands running two vibrant, member-driven organizations."

Vanderhoof emphasized that he had made his decision to retire before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. The summit provided a perfect opportunity to inform staff, governing boards and followers of his planned transition, he stated. However, when COVID-19 disrupted everyone's plans, he delayed his announcement to confer with leadership about how to broker the announcement "without adding additional uncertainty that comes with a leadership change."

Evolving beyond EMV

Vanderhoof thanked colleagues and association members for their volunteerism and support, especially Cathy Medich, director of strategic programs at the STA, with whom he had served throughout his long tenure. As he reflected on the success and year-over-year growth of the alliance and forum, Vanderhoof attributed the organizations' successes to staff and members, noting they built strong foundations and represent the best of their industries and technologies.

"We've been privileged to have had Randy Vanderhoof speak at our conferences over the years," said Marla Ellerman, executive director of the MPC Digital Commerce Event series. "The U.S. Payments Forum has grown exponentially under his leadership and continues to support mobile payments, online commerce security and emerging technologies across the United States."

Ellerman recalled that the EMV Migration Forum was formed in 2012 and changed its name to U.S. Payments Forum after driving widespread U.S. adoption of EMV. Today, more than 130 participating organizations, including global and regional payment networks, issuers, processors, merchants, and private and public sector professionals participate in forum initiatives and committees, she stated.

Ellerman additionally noted that the Smart Card Alliance evolved under Vanderhoof's leadership and rebranded as the Secure Technology Alliance in 2017. She observed that current initiatives at the STA address a spectrum of technologies across payments, identity, access and control, mobile, and IoT applications in North America.

Next-gen leadership

The STA and U.S. Payments Forum disclosed Dec. 15, 2020, that Jason Bohrer will take the helm as executive director at both organizations. Noting Bohrer's deep experience in sales, operations and managed services, board members stated that he is well positioned to advance both organizations' missions by continuing to promote adoption of smart technologies and solutions.

Oliver Manahan, board of directors co-chair at the SRA, stated that he expects Bohrer's experienced leadership to help shape new applications such as mobile driver's licenses and mobility-as-a-service.

Kristy Cook, chair of the U.S. Payments Forum Steering Committee, agreed, adding that the forum looks forward to Bohrer's guidance in 2021. “Jason brings extensive leadership experience, payment insight and an appreciation for the diversity of payment stakeholders to the role, and we’re excited to have him leading the forum as we foster emerging payments and technologies into the U.S. market,” she said.

Bohrer thanked the organizations for their welcoming remarks and said he looks forward to building upon the great work done under Vanderhoof's leadership. "Looking ahead, rapid changes in payments, security, mobile ID services, IoT, and transit fare collection technologies and solutions will continue, and these two organizations will be at the forefront of the transformation and implementation of those businesses," he said. "There is much to do and I’m excited to kick off 2021 in this new role.” end of article

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